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Old 05-27-2011, 11:35 PM   #1 
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Bloated and just sits up at top...

Hi! After inheriting my sister's aquarium, I did some research and found this site, and you convinced me to get a betta! Everything started out well, he even made a bubble nest after the second day... unfortunately I hadn't read enough, and am doing a fish-in cycle of the aquarium... the nitrite started appearing around day 4, and since then he stopped being so lively. (although he never ate, from day 1... he would put the pellet in his mouth, chew on it, and spit it out... maybe do the same thing once or twice more, and then leave it there... I tried leaving him a whole day without food and feeding the next day... same thing.) That's why I started changing the water every day to not let the nitrite get too high. And now it's been a couple of days that I noticed the bloating.. and it seems worse today. Please help!! I've never had a fish before and don't know what to do! Thanks!!

What size is your tank? 5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 78-80
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Nutrafin basix
How often do you feed your betta fish? he never eats...


How often do you perform a water change? so far every day
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? about 25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Nutrafin aqua plus and Nutrafin cycle

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0.3
Nitrate: 5
pH: 6.5

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? he's bloated
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? he doesn't do anything, just stays at the top behind the filter baffle or the heater... and when he does swim around, he's a little spastic, and it seems like he has to force to swim down, and the water's making him float... he also swims against the glass a little on a slant.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? it's been a few days
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I've been doing the 25% water changes every day... today I put 1 tbsp aquarium salt
Does your fish have any history of being ill? I've only had him for 10 days
How old is your fish (approximately)? no idea
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:48 PM   #2 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
I'm bumping this up so we can get some answers.
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:24 PM   #3 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the forum and sorry you are having problems....

Right now-I would QT and get him in Epsom salt 2tsp/gal and stop the aquarium salt.....if you bought him in one of those little cups...they are great to use for a QT container and floated in the heated tank to maintain a water temp in the 76-77F sure and attach it to the side so it doesn't sink or get knocked around by the filter...cover the top with plastic veggie wrap to retain the heat and humidity for the labyrinth organ....

Get a clean 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-add Epsom salt 2tsp/gal and tannins if you have any from either IAL or dried oak leaf-and use this pre-mixed treatment water for the 100% daily water changes for 10-14 days while in the QT container......

On day 3 of treatment offer live food-mosquito larva work well, if you don't have this use frozen food and if nothing else try a good quality Betta pellet....

Often new Bettas can take a week or more to settle in-adjust to the new environment and start to eat...they can go awhile without food and he should start to eat for you once he feels better and more at home....

What kind of testing product are you using and have you tested the source water....however, I suspect the nitrite and nitrate is from the cycle product....

Can you post a pic......

Edit...don't use the cycle product in the pre-mixed treatment water

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 06-05-2011 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:25 PM   #4 
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I don't think he's bloated anymore... it seems like he finally pooped and he seems ok there... but all he does is sit up on top between the heater and the glass of the tank... I really had to poke him to get him out.

Also he still won't eat... He just kinda plays with it, chews on it and spits it out and ignores it. Why? It's been 3 weeks already! I expected him to take a while to get used to his new home, but I figure he should be eating by now? Any idea why? or if there's something wrong with him?
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:46 PM   #5 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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It could be several things....too strong filter, larger space, nitrite and too many chemical additives or a combo of everything......hard to can start ruling thing out one by one......

Place him in a smaller container that can be floated in the heated tank to maintain water temp in the 76-77F range-no filter, start making 50% water changes with just like temp dechlorinated water for several days and see how he responds......

It can take time for them to adjust to the new environment...especially bigger tanks....often the Betta hasn't been in containers larger than a holding cup and big spaces take time for them to adjust....not all Bettas have issues with bigger spaces...but some do.....and they need to be slowly acclimated to space...same with water movement...some just don't tolerate it in the beginning, nitrite can effect breathing-it binds with oxygen in their blood and it can make it hard for them and they are suffocating due to lack of oxygen in the blood stream......


In the 5gal-make a 50% water change with like temp dechlorinated water...don't use the cycle product...turn off the filter...make 50% water changes for a couple of days and see if he perk up and starts eating....

Leave the filter off for now and if he improves give him a week or so to adjust...rinse out the filter box and filter media, add a baffle and turn it back on and see how he tolerates it.....
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:35 PM   #6 
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Thank you! I'll try it out and let you know how it goes...
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:26 PM   #7 
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With the food issue, he may be a picky eater and not like what your feeding him. I went thru 3 different foods before I found something my 1st betta would eat. Try feeding a few freeze dried blood worms, mine never turn those down. But those should also only be fed to them about once a week.
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